Wednesday, September 26, 2012

"Elaine Dance" and Opinions Please!

Today was the first day I felt like I really broke the ice with my students.  Last semester, I replaced a writing assignment with a debate on a topic of the student's choosing.  I required cited sources to support their arguments.  The students chose a controversial topic and really enjoyed the debate.  I was so impressed with the way they created and supported their arguments and the genuine passion they exhibited during the actual debate. 
 Today, this semester's class chose their topic and we talked  a bit about how to proceed.  They are actually excited about it!!!!  It was like that big chasm that separates teachers and students narrowed some.  Nothing like an exciting assignment to lead a breakthrough.  This makes me very happy.  They chose the topic of same-sex adoption.  Running a close second place to that topic was 'Reversing Roe v. Wade'.  They brainstormed the topics with no input from me.  I like that they chose controversial topics.  Of course, when they asked me how they would be split into teams and when I told them that they will be assigned to the pro or con side with no consideration to their preference....there was a collective gasp followed by "how do we do that if we all believe........?"  "what if we are a pro but assigned as a con?" "How do we argue for something we don't (or do) believe in if we are not assigned to that side?".
You argue as if you believe in the side you are assigned to.
Regardless of your belief.
Another collective gasp.
We talked a bit more about researching and about presenting a solid argument based on studies, evidence and fact rather than opinion.
They really seem excited about it.  What is really cool about this is that NOT ONE of them has ever participated in a debate.
This is why I love my teaching assistantship.
I'm really teaching them something new, a new skill.


New York & Co silk bow tie blouse, thrifted.  I can't tie a bow for anything.
This is what I wore to teach in today.  One of my students actually complimented me today!

Lia Sophia 'cabana' necklace.

I was feeling silly this morning..and because my photographer (the boy) was feeling a little crabby and irritable, I broke into the 'Elaine' dance....

Anyone remember that dance from Seinfeld?  I love that dorky dance.  Wish I could do it as well as Julia Louis Dreyfuss does it.  ;)


Now for your OPINION PLEASE?!!!!

I'm competing again on October 13th.  I'm dancing American Smooth Style, which is less stuffy than International Standard because you can break from the body contact position to do some spins and arm styling.  To put it simply...Standard is the elegant style and Smooth is the 'fancy' style.  Oh, by the way....I have not done much Smooth. Three months of coaching total in Smooth.  I'm a Standard girl. Back in February, my coach convinced me to compete in Smooth at the Indiana Challenge and it worked out very well  ;)

Anyway, I need to choose a dress to wear for this comp and I thought I would ask YOUR opinion!
So, which one?
The chocolate and vanilla dress?  I just purchased this and wore it at the last comp's evening event.

The pink princess dress?  This is what I wore when I won the Indiana Challenge.

Psss....the gloves...don't have fingers now, they were waaaayyy too long so I had them made into gauntlets.

.....or the 'Tinkerbell' green dress.

A friend of mine who loves all things Disney and works there told me she couldn't help but think of Tinkerbell when she saw the picture.


So what do you think?
I hope the pink one is still an option after tonight....because it's in the wash machine right now...
It's in a pillowcase, secured and washing on the hand wash cycle.
I've washed many formal gowns of silk and chiffon this way, but never a ballroom gown.  
Some of the stones will fall off, but will be caught by the pillowcase.  That's a super easy fix.  I just hope the dress and its fine silk chiffon godets are fully intact...
By the way...dry cleaners won't touch ballroom gowns.

So please send me some good dress mojo and please share your opinion with me!


33 comments:

  1. i love to see that you are excited in the classroom and apparently so are your students. This reminded me that i have to get back on the wagon and go back to school in January.
    Now, I think you should wear the Tinkerbell dress, the color is unsual and gorgeous... and sure i remember the Elaine dance, are you kidding lisa .. its one of my faves!

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    1. Hahahaha...you comment about the Elaine dance has me cracking up.
      Thanks for your vote on the dress!
      Yay for you going back to school...what will you study and what level degree?

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  2. Good dress mojo! I never have issues washing natural fabrics like silk, so I think you'll be fine.

    I think the pink because you have a good association with it and you'll carry that into your competition. You look gorgeous in all 3!

    I totally remember the Elaine dance! She does the ol' hitchhiker thumbs move, ha!

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    1. Yeah...I didn't do the hitchhiker thumbs in my Elaine dance....oops!
      Thanks for the Mojo...the dress came out perfectly. I'm kind of leaning toward the pink...but undecided as of yet.

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  3. I love the pink on. I think you look amazing in pink, but the chocolate and vanilla is a close second for me.

    You also look gorgeous in turquoise - today's top is wonderful on you.

    And the Elaine dance is one of my all-time favorite TV moments. My friends and I still do it to this day!

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    1. I wish I had a turquoise ballroom dress! I tried on a gorgeous teal dress...but the chic/vanilla was the better fitting dress. Maybe my next dress will be emerald green or teal!

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  4. How on earth do you decide between three shades of awesome? Though I am ever so slightly leaning towards Tinkerbell.

    I love stories from teachers. I always learn something, even when the story is about teaching wee ones.

    And today's outfit is very flattering. Wearing a bust level bow always makes me feel weird, for some reason, so I need to think about that.

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    1. Hi Freeda, thats why I am soliciting opinions! (-;
      Its very hard to decide.

      Are you a teacher? I am a teaching assistant at a university, which means I am a poorly paid teacher of an undergrad class while I work on my master's degree.

      I felt ok in this top with the bow at the bust. It was a silly material so it wasn't really poufy odd looking. It was a very modest little bow, not sticking out like "here I am...look at my chest" LOL!

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    2. No, I manage a behavioral health agency that serves developmentally disabled/mentally ill clients in their homes. I do a lot of training though, so I am a teacher of sorts!

      Yup, I definitely get the "THE BOOBS ARE HERE" vibe from a lot of bow shirts but that one worked out perfectly!

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    3. Freeda...hahaha....that's funny; I like that.."the boobs are here"!!!!
      Great work that you do. I used to work in that field years ago.

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  5. The pink princessone for me.
    I love the post about your debate. I am doing exactly the same thing with my 16/17-year-olds in a few weeks time.
    Can I ask? What age or your students and how many of them in a class?

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    1. I'm teaching a college undergrad class. I have a mix of ages, but the median age is 22. Last semester I had a range of ages from 18 to 60.

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  6. Wow, I love seeing photos of you dancing, you look so graceful. I personally really like the green "tinkerbell" dress and the first dress, they look like they must have amazing movement when you're dancing!
    And darn if I can't remember, but do you teach high school or collage kids? I always loved my classes that encouraged debates, I always felt more engaged and interested in those classes. That's really cool that your getting this kind of reaction from your students as well! (Ooooh, and I agree with your student, I love the colors of your outfit and that necklace is lovely.)

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    1. Thanks you for the compliment, Katie. I teach college undergrads. Thanks for your input too on the dress. They all have lots of movement and are all equally fun to wear!

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  7. You sound just as excited as your students which is fantastic! Debates are fun and very engaging. I would go with the pink dress. It sounds like it is your good luck charm!

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    1. Thank you, Heather. Lots of votes for the pink one!

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  8. That is interesting how dry cleaners won't touch ballroom gowns. Is this how most of the ladies have to wash their gowns? I just tried out Dryel and think it works reasonably well, or course not on anything as fabulous as your ballroom gowns. I am thinking of adding a chiffon gown to my collection and so I'm curious how your experiment goes. Where I live, we don't have good dry cleaners for vintage garments. I once took a wool dress to a dry cleaner because it had a musty odor and they still were not able to get the smell out. I did best by myself just spraying with vodka solution and putting it outside. Your idea is a great idea with the pillow case. I loved hearing about your students. It's so nice when they are enthusiastic about learning:)) I'm voting for your cream dress or tinker bell:))

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    1. Joanna, thanks for you vote. The dress came out just fine. I can tell you from past experience that washing chiffon doesn't hurt a thing if you used the hand wash cycle of your machine and put it in a pillowcase or a mesh bag.
      I purchase a really pretty chiffon evening dress from a resale shop and washed it with no problems at all. I don't know about older vintage dress...just because I don't know how fragile the fabric is as it has aged. Its worth a try, I suppose if you don't have other options. I can understand why dry cleaners don't want to do these dresses; they are very expensive to replace. If a $200 chiffon dress or beaded dress doesn't do well...ok they can afford to replace it. If a ball gown is runnier...well, they can't afford to replace that.
      Good luck with your chiffon dress!

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    2. Please tell us more about the vodka solution, I have clothing I would like to save from basement smell!

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    3. and by the way, Joanna....most ladies don't wash their gowns! They do spot clean them with a sponge, but most are not intrepid enough to try and wash them.

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  9. I find that my students get excited about something if I get excited about it. But that might only work with little kids. I remember being a teenager and 99% of stuff was not cool. So extra job well done for getting your students excited about this project! I vote for vanilla/chocolate!

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    1. I have to admit the vanilla/Chocolate is my favorite dress.

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  10. If you were my teacher, I would have definitely complimented you, too. That outfit is so polished and beautiful. Turquoise goes sublimely with your hair colouring, and the black really lends the whole look a jolt of classic sophistication.

    Each of those dresses is a work of art unto itself, but I think the pink princess dress is my favourite (my choice might be biased though, as pink is my all-time favourite colour).

    ♥ Jessica

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    1. Thanks you for the compliments. The pink seems to be a the front runner so far!

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  11. I do like the chocolate and vanilla very much! But if I was you I would go with whichever I felt most confident in - it will help you perform better if you feel good in what you are wearing. If it is the pink (which is a great stand out colour) then go for that one.

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    1. The C/V dress is my have. The pink seems to be the frontrunner. I feel best in the pink one, and the chic/van dress!

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  12. Oh mygosh, all are such lovely dresses, I don't know how you choose each time! Do you and your partner have to match at all?

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    1. We don't have to match. Since my partner is my instructor and he is passed around all during the comp between his students...he's just neutral; no matching. Sometimes partners do match but I don't think its necessary.

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  13. I love the color of your blouse today - so pretty!

    I think i like the chocolate and vanilla dress best, and i'm sure your pink dress will be fine.

    I hate dry cleaners. they are a ripoff. I consider "dry clean only" to be more of a suggestion anyway.

    Chic on the Cheap

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    1. I agree with you Lyddie not he dry cleaner opinion. I only use them for will items. However, it you find a solution to that....washing will without using the dry cleaner..let me know and I'll be on board!

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  14. Tink, tink, TINKERBELL!!!!

    I adore that green!

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  15. I got so excited about the dress, I forgot to add the rest of my commentary for today :)

    Love the civilian outfit, and will keep an eye out for the necklace next time I'm invited to a jewelry party! I took debate in 8th grade, and got the same lessons you're teaching these kids now. It was an invaluable lesson.

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    1. I love debate. Its been a popular event in my classes. I should be on a debate team.
      So you like the Tinkerbell? LOL..its a pretty dress. I am leaning though toward the pink one or the Choc/vanilla....the green one is so elegant I think I want to save it for Standard style and not Smooth (which is what I'm dancing this comp).

      I really love Lia Sophia jewelry....I hope you find one! I wear that one often.

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"When you find yourself on the side of the majority, it is time to pause and reflect"--Mark Twain